Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Looming Energy Crisis

The enemy is at the gates. And yet it is the internal posturing and deception by politicians that will prove to be our undoing.

The video report below is fascinating. In addition to T. Boone Picken's testimony before Congress, it contains many facts on oil production that might come as a complete surprise to most Americans.

All these things are just more facts to consider while Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi continue to block every single move to begin even the smallest effort to reduce or energy dependency.

Republicans have offered more compromise than on any issue... perhaps ever. Republicans are fully endorsing T. Boone Pickens comprehensive approach to energy alternatives and logical oil drilling.

Rank and file Democrats are rightfully afraid that the brain dead Pelosi and the puppet Reid will actually grab defeat from the jaws of victory. The Democrat Party's intransigence on this issue could greatly reduce the Democrat's potential House and Senate victories in November and might.... might... even cost Barack Obama the election.

Never in my experience have I seen a political party take such an indefensible position on an issue without any logical reason except the desire to "win."

Here we have Nancy (Nero) Pelosi fiddling while Rome (America) burns

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blind Prejudice

I've been writing a great deal lately about the blind prejudice that all too often turns into absolute hatred in our political and economic discourse. Much of what is written in blogs and repeated on talk radio (from the left and right) is nothing short of hate speech.

And while racial prejudice and sexual discrimination (and the objectification of women in our society, hat tip to the ikonoclast) continue to fester and infect our society, the "Derangement Syndromes" surrounding political philosophies and our supposed opponents and members of opposing political movements has reached a boiling point.

It hit really close to my home (both physically close and close in terms of religion and values) Sunday with the
shooting and murder of two members of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church during morning services. The shooting occurred during a children's performance. Thank God no children were killed.

The shooter, Jim D. Adkisson, left a letter in his car with the reason for his rampage. Adkisson "stated hatred of the liberal movement."

Thankfully Adkisson himself was not killed in the rampage and didn't have the chance to commit suicide. One report stated he had 76 shotgun shells and planned to use them all. He was wrestled to the ground by church members. He is now being held by the Knoxville police.

Among the many sins of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church were it's sponsorship of the American Civil Liberties Union and its support of women's rights and gay rights. They had recently put out a sign welcoming gays to the congregation.

These people were shot for the very beliefs I hold and practice every day.

As a society we must learn to respect each others views, religions and politics or we will find ourselves mired in internal fighting like the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, or past sectarian battle in Ireland.

Love is the spirit of this church and service is its law.
This is our great covenant: to live together in peace,
to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.

Written by James Vila Blake and used in many Unitarian churches (including the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church) as a Statement of Faith.

If only everyone could live by this simple and non-sectarian creed. Please send your prayers and thoughts to the friends and members of the Knoxville community touched by this tragedy. This tragedy touches everyone.

Here is a link to the website of The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nancy Pelosi's War on America

America is really being betrayed by the current political posturing in Washington. And Nancy Pelosi is leading a bizarre and very destructive campaign against the best interests of the American people.

It simply isn't possible to make any sense out of the current Democrat's posturing on energy EXCEPT that they have a genetic knee jerk opposition to any plan or any idea supported by Republicans. Is it possible that the Democrats feel forced to oppose the Republicans even if it actually means America is thrown into a full blown recession? What's happening is very disturbing.

Pelosi lacks the support of a significant number of Democrat members of Congress. If Pelosi wasn't using every procedural trick in the book to prevent members of her own party from crafting an amazing compromise energy bill, it would have passed the House today.

The Republicans compromise legislation would include conservation, alternative energy research, use of oil from the Strategic Oil Reserves (as horrifically bad an idea as that might be), and increased drilling for new oil reserves in offshore wells and possibly other areas. It would sail through the Senate and Bush has signalled he would sign a bipartisan compromise.

Over 70% of the public favors increased drilling and even more would support the compromise proposed by Republicans and many Democrats. But Pelosi won't allow any proposal to come before the Congress. Republicans vow to press for a vote every day until Pelosi relents. Good luck with that.

Nancy Pelosi is beyond any doubt unfit to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Let's hope other leaders in the House can persuade her to back off and help America become energy self sufficient.

I continue to encourage you to contact your Member of Congress and ask them to support a compromise that would move us toward energy independence.

We have eight days until the August recess.

Here is a link to the most recent news from the Hill: Congressional attempt to release oil from reserves fails
Since I wrote this post at midnight last night the call for action has increased from both the Main Stream Media and the blogosphere. The Washington Post has an EDITORIAL today that says, in part,
"Instead of dealing with the issue on the merits, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi(D-Calif.), a staunch opponent of offshore drilling, has simply decreed that she will not allow a drilling vote to take place on the House floor. If there is an explanation buried in there about why that makes offshore drilling off-limits for a vote, we missed it."
Michelle Malkin has a great post about the drilling non debate orchestrated by Pelosi. Malkin notes that "The only place Democrats want to drill is your wallet."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What Obama Can Teach Jesus

"Some might call this arrogance, but I call it spiritual confidence."

O.K., I know I'm going to get crucified for this (pun fully intended) by my friends and readers on both the left and the right. But only Greg Gutfeld can manage to offend Christians, conservatives, liberals and Obamamaniacs in the same two minutes.

This is easily the funniest thing I've seen so far in this otherwise nearly humorless Presidential campaign season.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Future For Iraq by Senator John McCain

Below is the editorial essay submitted to The New York Times by Senator John McCain in response to a similar editorial submitted and printed one week earlier by Senator Barack Obama. The Times has rejected Senator McCain's editorial. We are most pleased to publish it here, exactly as written by Senator McCain.

The Future For Iraq
Senator John McCain

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80% to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City—actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military's readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

America Deserves So Much Better Than The New York Times

I cannot more strongly express my revolting disgust with The New York Times.....

I know that Barack Obama WILL become our next President. I believe and hope he will be an exemplary Chief Executive. Obama may very well be the change that America needs.

But do we actually have to dispense with the election itself? Are we to be force fed a coronation of one candidate? It seems the New York Times thinks so.

Today's decision to "reject" the editorial submitted John McCain to The Times just one week after they accepted and printed a remarkably similar editorial from Obama reflects the worst of media elitism and free press hypocrisy. A full report by ABC News is available here: McCain OpEd Not Up to NY Times' Snuff

That the Times Opinion Editor David Shipley rejected the McCain piece on content grounds is astonishing. And his dismissive attitude is simply stunning.

Shipley admonished McCain, "It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece. I'm not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written."

Shipley then advised McCain to try again: "I'd be pleased, though, to look at another draft."

A key ingredient demanded by Shipley iin McCain'srevision is a "Republican timetable for withdrawal."

Of course the fact is that Shipley is a two bit paritsan hack. Shipley is a partisan Democrat who has no business working for the Times in the first place, let alone in a position of editorial power. Shipley's partisan stripes were well earned. He served the Clinton Administration from 1995 until 1997 as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Presidential Speechwriter.

A better man than Shipley could overcome his prejudice. But it would have to be a better man than Shipley.

Later tonight I will be printing the editorial that the Times rejected, exactly as prepared and written by Senator McCain.


POSTSCRIPT: American's are remarkably fair minded people. This latest Times stunt and the media's fawning is obviously backfiring. Obama's lead in national polls has dropped to a single point. I genuinely believe that if the press treated McCain fairly, Obama would be leading by ten points.

Rasmussen reports, "The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Barack Obama attracting 42% of the vote while John McCain earns 41%. That’s the lowest level of support measured for Obama since he clinched the Democratic Presidential nomination on June 3."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Tale of Three Presidents

I'm pleased and frankly a little bit surprised to let you know that President Bush (our current President) has accepted and is now following The Wizard's very sage advice. I wrote this open letter to President Bush last week: President Bush: Accept the Victory You've Earned and Deserve

I urged President Bush to accept Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki's plan for a phased withdrawal (or timetable, if you prefer). Now, I have to admit that it's unlikely President Bush ever read my blog, but yesterday he did agree to a
Time Horizon on Troop Cuts. The Associated Press Reports:

    President Bush and Iraq's prime minister have agreed to set a "general time horizon" for bringing more U.S. troops home from the war, a dramatic shift from the administration's once-ironclad unwillingness to talk about any kind of deadline or timetable.
What is especially interesting is tonight's latest little wrinkle in the negotiations. It appears to many people that al-Maliki has signaled his endorsement of our future President Barack Obama's 16 month timetable for troop withdrawal (and likely favors Obama himself in the upcoming election). Although the Iraqi government quickly denied the rumours, that is possibly only a move to save face and preserve relations with the Bush administration.

As you all know I favored the surge from it's earliest proposal by Senator John McCain. I was extremely pleased when President Bush followed that advice.

It is ironic that the success about to be enjoyed by American President Bush, Iraqi President al-Maliki and future President Obama is all due to John McCain's military strategy, the one man who will never occupy the office of President.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nancy Pelosi, You Know You're in Trouble When Ann Coulter is 100% Right

The Democrat's strategy on the Oil and Energy crisis is so bankrupt that Ann Coulter's column this week is spot on correct. When Ann Coulter can parody your position and be 100% right, you are in deep trouble.

Coulter's entire column can be read here:
THIS IS NOT A DRILL Key excerpts are below.

Oh, and Nancy, the part about you being "the worst speaker in the history of Congress," that part is right, too.

    Announcing the Democrats' bold new "plan" on energy last week, Pelosi said breaking into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve "is one alternative." That's not an energy plan. It's using what we already have -- much like "conservation," which is also part of the Democrats' plan.

    Conservation, efficiency and using oil we hold in reserve for emergencies does not get us more energy. It's as if we were running out of food and the Democrats were telling us: "Just eat a little less every day." Great! We'll die a little more slowly. That's not what we call a "plan." We need more energy, not a plan for a slower death.

    But there's more! Pelosi announced that the Democrats also plan to push for "an historic investment in biofuels, efficiency, conservation and the rest." The "rest" is apparently what she called our "important and essential" investment in alternative energy.

    That certainly would be historic: We would make history by throwing our money away on unproven energy boondoggles that have eaten up untold billions since the 1960s without producing a single net kilowatt of power while we all starve to death.

    That's the Democrats' plan to run cars on biofuels, solar and wind power: Then a miracle happens. The current Democratic mantra on energy is: "We can't drill our way out of this problem." Apparently their plan is to talk our way out of this problem.

    Democrats are also alleging that the oil companies are sitting on millions of acres of oil but are refusing to drill -- presumably because oil company executives hate the American people and perversely don't want to make money. Manifestly, those acres are being explored for oil or have already come up dry.

    If the Democrats really wanted oil companies to find more oil, they'd allow oil companies to drill offshore and to drill in ANWR, which we happen to know is bursting with oil.
It's time for the Democrats to develop a comprehensive plan to actually help the middle and lower income people they claim to care so very much about. And claim is all they do. They actually want to force all lower income Americans into a hopeless economic stranglehold.

So, while the Russians have claimed the entire North Pole for oil exploration and the Chinese are perfecting deep water exploration just outside the United States waters, Nancy Pelosi wants us to raid our meager oil reserves to pretend she really cares about, you know, the little people.

It's time for all the little people to call their Congresspersons and tell them to drill for a new Majority Leader.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

John McCain, You Missed It by Thaaaaat Much

No sooner than the virtual ink had dried on my cyber essay this morning, than John McCain proved my point exactly. He simply cannot or will not focus on the issue that is the most important issue in this election.

Hello John? Anybody home?

It's the energy inflated economy stupid!!

Now I need to digress for just a moment to give John McCain the credit he so rightfully deserves. He showed courage and grace today in addressing the NAACP convention. By all accounts he acquitted himself very well. He was gracious, warm and genuine, even while knowing he is unlikely to pick up a single vote from the group's members.

But Ken Blackwell, the African American Republican, pointed out in the elephant in the room, if you'll pardon the pun. McCain failed to address the number one, most important topic on the minds of every American, including every African American. Raging gasoline prices are destroying everything lower income Americans have been working to achieve. People cannot drive to work. They cannot afford groceries or clothing. This a real and personal crisis.

You can listen to Blackwell's obvious advice to McCain on NPR:
Black Republican Has Message For McCain If only McCain will tune in and listen.

But John, if you and your handlers and advisers are way to busy to listen to one of the few black Republicans, why not just read today's New York Times: More Poll Findings: The Economy Trumps the War, by Far

And here's the worst part of this political disaster. McCain has a genuine advantage. Barack Obama is an empty suit when it comes to the energy crisis. The man's got nothing. No plan and few ideas. He is clueless and vulnerable. Energy is his Achilles heel. At least it is today.

But Barack is smart. He will read the New York Times. And his advisers are listening to NPR. And while McCain will call his new plan a "flip-flop on energy," he'll regain the advantage.

When and if Barack Obama finally realizes that vague (and 15 billion dollars worth of stupid) corporate welfare plans for imaginary alternative energy ideas will not solve this crisis, he'll create a new plan and earn every one's respect.

America must be 100% energy independent by 2016. McCain has the plan, but no voice or message. Obama could inspire a nation, but he has no plan.

Will somebody please wake up and smell the gasoline.

It's dark in here... and smells kinda funny, too...

I remain stunned by the ongoing Presidential campaigns by both Barack Obama and John McCain. As Obama and McCain debate nearly meaningless differences in their strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan, both are simply missing in action on the disintegrating economy and the looming energy disaster.

While McCain does have a good plan and has articulated strong goals for energy self sufficiency, Obama has virtually nothing on his plate what-so-ever beyond mind numbingly silly alternative energy subsidies.

But McCain, who should be driving home his plan and the urgency of the crisis, is lost in the war zone of Iraq gotcha quotes.

Polls released today show that the economy is the most important issue according to 53% of the public, while concern about Iraq is down to a near term low of just 16%.

If any of you, dear readers, haven't figured out what will happen in Iraq and Afghanistan, let me illuminate you. We will withdraw many troops from Iraq and add troops to Afghanistan, regardless of who is elected President.

The real question needs to be will the United States emerge from the world wide energy crisis as a world leader or an aging, empty shell of a country.

We are importing 70% of our energy needs. 70%. And Democrats have STUPIDLY stopped 100% of all legislation that might produce domestic energy sources and avert this disaster.

The only proposal from the Democrats is to raid the Strategic Oil Reserve, a move all experts agree would have no impact on either supply or prices, but would seriously weaken the United States faced with a real supply disaster.

Why Obama, who has proven himself both nimble and bright on a dozen other issues, has allowed himself to be painted into a "let's do nothing to help today" mentality is puzzling. He has deftly moved to more reasonable and even pro-active positions on other issues.

We want Barack to be a John Kennedy style leader - visionary and brave, inspiring us to become a greater nation. He should rise to the occasion before him and develop a plan to move the United States to 100% ENERGY SUFFICIENCY by the end of his (second) term.

I'd like to issue a similar challenge to McCain, but, while he actually has a plan, I don't think he can focus on the issue, let alone inspire a nation.

So here we have our leaders with their heads in the sand.... or perhaps up their ..... while America slips into an energy driven recession.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

President Bush: Accept the Victory You've Earned and Deserve

Dear President Bush,
A rare and extraordinary moment in history is before us today. And it is a real tribute to your unwavering vision for the future of the nation and the people of Iraq and the stability of the middle east.
Rightly or wrongly, you led America and a small coalition into a preemptive war with Saddam Hussein and the nation of Iraq. And, even when faced with sagging public opinion at home and abroad, you ignored the critics and the polls and stayed the course to bring stability and plant the seeds of democracy in this once enslaved land.
As Congress demanded withdrawal, you successfully forced a major surge in troops and fought off every attempt to end the war and subsequent occupation. Hell, you won every single funding battle.
You took the hard road and made certain beyond all doubt that there were no weapons of mass destruction in the hands of this potentially powerful nation. More importantly, you deposed the despotic and unstable leader and his sadistic sons and returned this land to it's varied and noble peoples.

Today, the leader that has been duly elected by all the of Iraq people has reported to you, in both words and deeds, that Iraq has grown and is now ready to chart it's own course and resume its rightful place in among the world's sovereign nations.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is in ruins and Iraq's own military has now assumed the lead role in routing the remaining forces. In Basra, in Sadr City, and in Mosul, Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki has shown that he has both the will and the means to control his country.
Now is the time for you to accept the victory you have long sought. Now is the time for you to accept Nouri al-Maliki's most generous offer for a strategically negotiated timetable for withdrawal of combat troops.
There is no doubt that your acceptance of a timetable for withdrawal drawn up by the Iraqi's in consultation with our military leaders on the ground will literally turn around your entire Presidency. Your approval ratings will jump twenty points overnight.
You're not bowing to some politically mandated withdrawal plan coming from no-nothing Washington politicians. You've won that battle for the last four difficult years. No, you would be leaving on your terms. Settling the war BEFORE you leave office. What a victory!
Sure, there is a side benefit that this will benefit Senator McCain in his quest for the Presidency. Yes, as one of the original architects of the surge, McCain will share in your victory. And yes, it will effectively remove a political weapon from Barack Obama's arsenal.
And, frankly, if you fail to grasp the olive branch of victory today, you will effectively hand it to the future Persident Obama, who will not repeat your mistake. Trust me on this one, President Obama will negotiate a timetable for withdrawal. Why let Obama steal your moment in the spotlight?
The only way to prove you were right all along is to accept al-Maliki's pathway to independence. It will totally disarm your critics who claimed this was all about oil. Or power. Or greed.
Negotiate today and you can depart on your terms, at a pace dictated by the real events on the ground.
But, no matter what, negotiate today. Accept victory when it is handed to you by the Iraqi's themselves.


I am becoming increasingly concerned about blind prejudice in our society. You know the kind of prejudice I mean. When one group makes a blanket condemnation or criticism of another group, usually wrapped up in rather hateful or even hate filled jargon, that is pure prejudice.

As a society we generally condemn racial prejudice and occasionally condemn religious prejudice. Liberals, like myself, are quite quick to condemn prejudice based on sexual orientation. Why do so many in any society insist upon the stereotyping of people who are perceived as different?

Often such prejudice is just plain laughable. Or it's just plain stupid. It's generally always based on ideas or assumptions that is simply wrong. Blacks are not lazy. Hispanics are not thieves. Muslims are not terrorists. Gays can be good parents.

I'd like to think we all recognize prejudice.

But, here in the blogosphere I'm becoming increasingly concerned about BLIND and totally misguided prejudice base solely on political and/or economic beliefs. The name calling and the blanket condemnations are seriously out of control. Just read the comments sections of almost any political blog, left or right. Hate is being spewed in almost laughable proportions. Except it's just not funny.

I've got news for you. Conservatives DO NOT HATE the environment. LIBERALS DO NOT HATE America. Conservatives DO NOT HATE minorities. Liberals DO NOT HATE the military.

If you think I'm wrong you are just not getting out enough. You are not reading the blogs of those who differ from you politically and making a genuine effort to communicate (not lecture or call names).

I have a list of 26 blogs I try to read at least once weekly. Three are decidedly non political. Eight concentrate on International events or regional issues (Darfur, Iraq, Iran, Burma, etc). The remaining fifteen are political.

Of those 15, eight (8) are liberal and range form the very large (Daily Kos and Huffington) to the small and thoughtful (The Vigil and Liberal Values).

One is a rather middle of the road blog. That leaves six (6) that are conservative, again from the large (Pajamas Media and Little Green Footballs) to the very small (the unbelievably prolific Freedom Eden, I swear the woman writes 24 hours a day).

The comments attached to these blogs are nearly identical. I mean scarily word for word identical. Every damned day. Just remove the key words "liberals," "conservatives," "democrats, or "republicans" and the comments can simply be picked up and moved from the blogs on the left over to the blogs on the right. All spew blind and blanket prejudice. All are laced with vitriolic hatred. Many actually wish death upon their political opposites.

Michelle Malkin, who I always read and frequently quote in this blog, has pointed out the incredibly hypocrisy of and obvious prejudice of liberal economist Robert Reich. Her article today, The left-wing bullies in Robert Reich’s backyard, is really worth a read.

But even after Malkin gets it so spot-on right, a few of her own readers quickly revert to the same exact name calling and hate speech and class prejudice she has just condemned

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July

A rather large number of liberal newspaper columnists and progressive bloggers have written essays in the last few days that seem to echo Rev. Jeremiah Wight's sentiment of "God Damn America." Naturally these writers are being harshly criticized by conservative columnists and bloggers on the right.

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Chrios Satullo's A Not So Glorious Fourth has generated the greatest amount of criticism from right wing talk show hosts and conservative bloggers. But conservative Chuck Norton has located and reprinted a large number of such America bashing screeds, and has sharply criticized each one.

Let me begin by saying that I personally and strongly disagree with the progressive and liberal negativists who write so harshly about America.

But I'm not going to criticize them at all. In fact I'm going to praise them, even as I take the polar opposite view of American and her greatness.

These very strong critics of America and her current leaders are helping America improve. They are the watchdogs who protect our ideals, our Constitution and our moral compass.

They may see the glass as half empty (or nearly empty or flat out bone dry) while I see the glass as brimming over with goodness and honor, it is their constant demand that we improve and protect the weak that has made America the great nation it is today.

It is the social critics who, over the last 200 years, freed the slaves, gave women the right to vote and brought a measure of social justice to oppressed racial, religious and sexual minorities.

Those who loudly and self righteously cry "God Damn America" are those who force the rest of us to re-examine our actions, our positions and our values.

Do today's critics suffer from "Bush Derangement Syndrome?" Yes, beyond a doubt, they do. They certainly lack perspective and a broad view of the world. They do not understand history, nor do they have any sense of moral relativism.

But they force us all to be better, to move forward, to reach out to those we might otherwise ignore, or worse yet, actually hate. The demand we actually protect the rights we celebrate today.

In reality, the "God Damn America" critics are great patriots. And they have helped make America the Greatest Country in all of History.

So I say God Bless America and bless her critics most of all.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Barack Obama's Brilliant and Brave Faith Based Initiative

While General Wesley Clark continued his ego driven effort to suck all the air out of the media these last two days, Barack Obama tired in vein to stay on message. Obama's effort to introduce himself to the American public was generally snuffed out by Clark's endless parade from CNN to MSNBC to FOX attempting to explain or tone down or justify his Sunday remarks on Face the Nation. If you simply can't get enough of this controversy, here is a really great analysis from The New York Observer.

It's really a shame that Clark dominated the news cycle because Barack Obama made one of the best and most brilliant initiatives of his young campaign and it received almost no press coverage.

In what I think is a stunningly brilliant move, Obama announced that he intends to continue and to expand
President Bush's Faith Based Initiative. Obama wants to enlarge the controversial program that steers government money to religious groups to aid in providing social services, especially to lower income groups.

Working with a former Bush administration director of Faith Based Programs, David Kuo, Obama has designed a program that enhances the original program and should delight Evangelicals. Kuo has been critical of President Bush for failing to expand and more fully fund the program.

Evangelical Christians have been slow to warm to Republican John McCain. This initiative should peel off McCain supporters and bring them to Obama.

This program also has had the very strong support of the black community, rare for a Republican initiative. Obama said he has long be a supporter of such programs.

In addition, by embracing the Faith Based Initiative, Obama proves his campaign pledge to work across the aisle in a bipartisan manner.

In summary, this is a triple win for Obama, gaining support from Christian conservatives, further cementing his support in the black community and winning the respect of independents who are looking for an end to Washington gridlock.

Bravo, Senator Obama!